SANTA MONICA (CBSLA) – A former Santa Monica Police Activities League volunteer and city employee accused of child sexual abuse going back decades has been found dead from an apparent suicide, less than a month after his arrest.
Fifty-year-old Eric Uller was found dead in his apartment Thursday morning, the city of Santa Monica confirmed.
He was scheduled to appear at a court hearing in Los Angeles County Superior Court Thursday. He faced multiple felony counts of lewd acts upon a child, oral copulation of a person under 18 and continuous sexual abuse.
Uller was first arrested Oct. 18 while at his job as a systems analyst for the city of Santa Monica.
He was accused of sexually abusing children while a volunteer with the Santa Monica Police Activities League (PAL) program. The alleged abuse dated back to the 1980s, the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department reports.
Uller had been placed on administrative leave by the city pending the investigation. In a statement Thursday, the city wrote that an independent investigation is being conducted regarding whether any city officials knew about the allegations facing Uller while he was an employee and failed to act.
“The City had initiated an independent investigation into allegations that the City previously knew or should have known of, but failed to address, Mr. Uller’s alleged criminal conduct,” the statement read. “The City remains committed to seeing this investigation through.”
Sheriff’s detectives began investigating Uller in June at the request of Santa Monica police.
The number of victims in the case was not disclosed. Investigators also believe there may be more victims who have not yet come forward. It’s unclear when Uller had last volunteered with PAL.
“The independent investigation is already underway, and will also review whether the City had in place sufficient procedures to encourage reporting of such conduct and to ensure that reports are acted on,” the city’s statement read.
Anyone with information on the case should call the LASD Special Victims Bureau tip line at 877-710-5273. People can also contact the law firm conducting the city’s independent investigation at 562-653-3200, or click here.